Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injections, is a natural alternative to the use of dermal fillers. Dermal fillers use synthetic material to create volume and restore youthfulness. For a more youthful facial appearance using natural methods, fat grafting at Bajaj Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City may be an ideal option.
What is facial fat transfer?
As we age, we lose volume in our faces. Whether due to genetics, exposure to harsh elements, lifestyle choices, or simply the aging process, both men and women seek ways to eliminate signs of wear and tear on their faces. For this reason, many seek out facial fat grafting.
A facial fat transfer uses fatty tissues taken from other areas of the body and transfers them to certain areas of the face where aging has impacted the most. With any fat transfer procedure, patients can enhance one area of the body naturally, while also slimming down a region that was otherwise problematic. This procedure is less invasive and requires minimal preparation and significantly less recovery time than with another form of facial rejuvenation, such as a facelift.
The common concerns that facial fat transfer can treat include:
- Deepening lines and wrinkles
- Sunken eyes
- Hollow cheeks
- Frown lines
- Marionette lines
- Nasolabial folds
- Wrinkles around the neck
Facial Grafting Benefits
The advantage of using your own fat rather than a filler is that it is permanent and is your own tissue. Other benefits include the following.
Because fat transfer procedures remove fat from one region of the body and repurpose these cells in another area of the body, places such as the thighs, buttocks, or abdomen can become redefined and contoured by having excess fatty tissue removed, causing these problem areas to look leaner and healthier.
As we age, collagen and elastin within the facial skin tend to break down, leading to wrinkles and lines that hinder one’s true appearance. With fat transfer, the cells are used to add volume to the cheeks, around the mouth and eyes. Fat grafting is also beneficial for filling out and reducing scars or defects.
Facial balance can be restored through facial fat transfers, creating a more youthful and symmetrical appearance that has been impacted by the aging process. Lines and wrinkles can be reduced. The skin will appear firmer and lifted, and it can take years off your appearance by restoring tissue volume.
Fat Transfer vs. Injectable Fillers
Both fat transfer and injectable can be used to replenish volume loss within the skin and subcutaneous tissues. With facial fat transfer, your own fat is used to fill areas of the face that have lost volume. The use of natural, original fat tissue circumvents any potential risks or rejections of foreign tissue or materials.
In comparison, injectable fillers introduce foreign materials into the body, which can cause allergic reactions or other complications. Although dermal fillers provide instant results, they are not long-lasting. Dermal fillers can last from six months to two years, depending on the type of filler used and location where it is injected. In contrast, fat that is injected into the skin will establish its own blood supply within the face, making it a permanent new home for lasting results. Typically, 50 to 70 percent of the fat that is injected will take as a permanent graft.
Who is an ideal candidate for facial fat transfers?
Ideal patients for facial fat transfers should want to reduce the effects of facial aging without the use of synthetic materials. These patients should have an adequate amount of fat on the body, which can be safely removed for the injection process. Patients who are considering facial fat transfer should be in good health and have no underlying conditions that pose a risk to optimal recovery and results.
In case you do not have enough excess fat to suffice for treatment or the effects of aging are too progressed, Dr. Bajaj will recommend alternative treatments, such as one of our dermal fillers or a facelift, to help achieve their desired results.
Facial Fat Transfers Consultation
During your initial consultation, you will discuss your aesthetic goals and expectations with Dr. Bajaj. She will then perform an in-depth evaluation and assess your medical history, routine medications, and current health to help determine if facial fat transfer is a safe and viable treatment option for you. If you are a good candidate for facial fat transfer, Dr. Bajaj will work personally with you to devise a custom treatment plan to meet your aesthetic needs.
Facial Fat Transfer Procedure Preparation
To ensure an optimal facial fat transfer experience, Dr. Bajaj will provide you with detailed instructions, including:
- Maintain a healthy diet and moderate physical activity
- Arrange for a ride home the day of the procedure since you will be unable to drive yourself following the procedure
- Quit smoking at least four weeks before treatment and for eight weeks following the treatment to ensure survival of as much grafted fat as possible
- Avoid any anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks before treatment
Facial Fat Transfer Procedure Process
The facial fat transfer procedures begin by marking the specific facial areas from where fat will be extracted and to where the cells will be transferred. The fat transfer procedure itself involves a three-step process.
First, the cells are removed from the body using liposuction and then washed and cleaned. The cells will be placed into a syringe and injected into the areas of the face that have been most affected by aging or volume loss. The fat cells can also be injected into the lips and cheeks to achieve a more natural form of augmentation. After the facial fat transfer is complete, Dr. Bajaj will close any incisions using sutures.
Recovery from a facial fat transfer procedure is typically short. It is not uncommon for patients to exhibit swelling, bruising, and sensitivity, both in the areas of injection and the donor site (the area from which the fat is taken). These symptoms will dissipate naturally, typically within a few days.
Sometimes fat injections can dissipate over time as the body can re-absorb certain amounts of fat, and patients may require an additional treatment.
Immediately after the procedure, there will be some swelling and bruising that will resolve. While there will be an immediate increase in volume, it may be several weeks before the definitive result is achieved. Lines and wrinkles will appear less distinct or will have diminished completely, creating a more youthful look overall. If facial fat transfer is combined with other procedures, such as a facelift or brow lift, the results can be even more dramatic and longer lasting.
Fat Grafting Cost
As with many cosmetic procedures, the actual cost of a facial fat varies based on the amount treatment needed and how much fat will be removed. Dr. Bajaj will be able to provide each patient with an accurate facial fat transfer quote after an initial consultation.
Interested in receiving a custom quote? Plastic surgeon, Dr. Anu Bajaj, and her staff in Oklahoma City are eager to speak with patients about the details of a facial fat transfer procedure. Please contact our office today and schedule a consultation!